EMMA GISLASON, INSTRUCTOR
Originally from Cedar Rapids, Kiana moved to Minneapolis the spring of 2017. After settling in, Kiana has taught at multiple studios, including Larkin Dance Studio, Velocity Dance and Theatre, Katie Lien’s School of Dance and Deanne’s Dance Studio. She has also choreographed shows at multiple theatres in the area such as Music Man(Westonka Community Theatre), Sound of Music(Southwest Christian High School), and Scrooge!(Chaska Valley Family Theater). Since the age of four, dance has been a huge part of Kiana’s life.
She received training in jazz, contemporary, musical theatre, hip hop, alog with private instruction in tap from Sean Kaminski and ballet training from Edith Barragan (former ballerina in the Royal Ballet of Wallonie in Charleroi, Belgium). Kiana has continued her training by dancing at studios such as Broadway Dance Center (NYC), Dance Connection (Palo Alto, CA), Synergy Dance (Colorado Springs, CO) and by attending dance master classes with artists such as Travis Wall, Savion Glover, Greg Russell, Helen Phillips, Kenny Wormald, and Stacey Tookey. Kiana also performed in both the Moscow Ballet & Quad City Ballets Nutcracker, which are a few of her most memorable dance experiences. With choreography from artists such as Shannon Mather and Kari Herman, Kiana has won numerous regional and national titles as a soloist & duo/trio partner. Kiana hopes to share her passion for dance with everyone who crosses her path. She believes that dance can always be a part of a person’s life no matter what dreams he or she pursues. “To touch, to move, to inspire. This is the true gift of dance.” - Aubrey LynchType your paragraph here.
Taylor Johnson is a new instructor here at Katie Lien School of Dance. She will be teaching kindergarten through second grade Tap, Jazz, and Ballet, as well as, fifth through seventh grade Hip-Hop. Taylor has been dancing for 11 years in training in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, Contemporary, Musical Theater, Hip-Hop, Pom, and High Kick. Her training began at a small studio in St. Louis Park, On Your Toes, and continued to dance at Platinum Dance Center. For the past six years, Taylor has danced on the Hopkins Royelles Dance Team, and has been a varsity dancer with them for the past five. During her years on the Royelles she has had lots of fun experiences, such as, being apart of the choreography committee, building strong relationships with the dancers and coaches, and dancing at the Superbowl 52 halftime show. Over her years of dancing she has given multiple awards, from strongest dancer to best performer. Currently, she is enrolled in classes at Minnesota State University Mankato where she will continue her education. BIO COMING SOON
Katie Lien is the Owner and Artistic Director of Katie Lien School of Dance, ever since 2000. Katie began her dance training in North Dakota, where she studied with many of the local dance schools. During Katie’s childhood years, she performed on stage with Bob McGrath, in “Sesame Street Live” Celebrating 25 years on Prairie Public television’s Kid Zone. Katie also performed in the Nutcracker with the Oakland Ballet, under the direction of Ronn Guidi. In 2001, Katie starred in the Musical “Chicago”, a Crimson Creek Production, as Annie the female prisoner. In 2003 Katie was selected to tour nationally with Dance Olympus-America, as a VIP. She was honored to assist some of the leading dance masters in the nation, such as Sarah Jo Fazio, Gregg Russell, Frank Hatchett, Jay-T, Derek Mitchell and Christina Woodard, to name a few. This was a pivotal time for Katie, and this experience shaped her as a dancer opening her eyes to the possibilities that her students could achieve with the right instruction. Katie is trained in many styles of dance, including Ballet, Tap, Irish Clogging, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary & Hip Hop. Her philosophy is that a dancer can always do more, so she takes an annual trip to NYC, to dance at the Broadway Dance Center, Steps on Broadway and Alvin Ailey. Katie also attends conventions & seminars whenever possible. Because of this dedication, Katie received the 2005 "Teachers Choice Award" at the Dance Olympus Regional Competition. Her choreography and students continue to win top marks at regional & national competitions year after year. Katie graduated from UND with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication Science and Disorders and minored in Psychology. During the summer of 2010, Katie was asked to do all the choreography for the Mound-Westonka 'Pop Singers' show, and was thrilled to see the finished product!
Melinda grew up in the Washington DC area. She started training at her mothers dance studio and went on to study throughout the tri state area. Melinda moved to NYC in 2002 to attend NYU. Shortly after she joined the Radio City Rockettes. She has performed in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and worked as an Assistant Choreographer, Dance Captain and Swing on the show. She also performed in the Spring Spectacular and the Summer Spectacular as a Rockette.Melinda has also been seen on The Today Show, Good Morning America, The Rachael Ray Show, Ellen, Dancing with the Stars and the TONY awards. Melinda is passionate about teaching and sharing her experiences with students of all ages. When not performing she travels the country as a guest teacher, she loves dancing with kids of all ages!
TAYLOR JOHNSON, INSTRUCTOR
SYLVIA CHANDLER, BALLET INSTRUCTOR
MICHAELA MACAULEY, BALLET INSTRUCTOR
Emma Gislason was born and raised in Burnsville, Minnesota. Her love of dance began at the young age of three when she walked into her first ballet class at Monique’s School of Dance in Apple Valley. Emma spent twelve years with Monique’s. During her time there, she enjoyed being a part of pieces choreographed by renowned choreographers such as Geno Forliti and Angelo Moio, and being cast as a backup dancer for R&B singer, Alexander O’Neal, at First Avenue in Minneapolis. At age fifteen, Emma transitioned into the competitive dance world when she joined Studio Vibe in Eagan and the Burnsville High School Blazettes (dance team). She also began teaching jazz at Studio Vibe in high school and fell in love with helping students become the best dancer they could be. Currently, Emma is a graduate at the University of Minnesota with a degree in Sociology. In addition to teaching at Katie Lien's she is a Minnesota Vikings Cheerleading and enjoys cheering on the best team in the NFL from the sidelines at every home game. She also assistant coaches the Varsity Jazz Burnsville Blazettes dance tame and has loved being back at her Alma mater. The highlight of her career as a dancer/dance teacher thus far was the 4 months she spent in South Africa in the Spring of 2017. She spent her time there teaching tap-dance to kids living in impoverished townships. She is a strong believer that the performing arts is the best way to heal brokenness and spread love.
KIANA CARLSON , INSTRUCTOR
MELINDA FARRELL, GUEST ARTIST
Michaela received her training at The Gelsey Kirkland Ballet Academy in NYC. The curriculum is based in traditional Russian technique. The syllabus consisted of core dynamics, technique, pointe, classical variation, repertoire, pas de deux, music, and acting. She also studied with Jessica Howard a three times National Championship winner in rhythmic gymnastics. Michaela attended both The American Ballet Theatre and Bolshoi Ballet summer intensives. She is a recipient of a bronze and gold medal at the LIBC and was inducted into the National Society of Dance Arts. She has danced with Gelsey Kirkland Ballet, Twin Cities Ballet and is currently with Continental Ballet Company. Michaela received her teacher certification from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy of Russia. She has coached for the YAGP with two of her students placing in the finals. Her teaching style is rooted in classical ballet with an emphasis on wellness.
EMILY JOHNSON, INSTRUCTOR
After completing a four-year degree in Dance Performance and Dance Education in Lubeck and Hamburg, Germany, Sylvia continued her studies with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York and eventually moved to Minneapolis to join Continental Ballet at the soloist level. She has since been performing in classical repertoire with several Twin City Dance companies and has been teaching classical Ballet for more than 20 years. Her emphasis in Ballet Pedagogy is on conveying an understanding of correct upper body alignment, core strength and, resulting from that, the correct use of functional 'turn-out'.With most of her training in Germany being in the Vaganova method, her classes are based on the lyricism of the Russian style.
She sees it as her mission to help every student gain a solid understanding of classical Ballet as an art form and reach their highest potential as a dancer and a human being. In addition to her expertise in classical Ballet, Sylvia holds certifications in Floor Barre and Yin Yoga, and has developed Yin Yoga classes aimed specifically at the flexibility needs of dancers.
Quoting the ancient Greek philosopher Plato who said that "Dance is of all art forms the one that most moves the Soul", she believes that exposure and training in the classical arts not only contributes to the enrichment of the individual dancer, but on a larger scale contributes to a better world through the inspiration of classical ideals such as beauty, harmony, and proportion.
Emily Johnson began dancing at the age of two and started competitively dancing at the age of 9. She has trained at various studios including Red River Dance Studio, Dance Connection, Dyan’s World of Dance, and Studio 4 Dancers – winning numerous awards regionally and nationally. Emily is trained in all different styles of dance including: Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Musical Theater, Hip Hop, and Modern. She has also performed in the Russian Nutcracker with the Moscow Ballet Company in 2005. Along with being a part of a competition studio, she attended the Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists in High School with a focus in dance. This included performing at various theaters across Minneapolis and receiving dance training from well-known dance companies including TU Dance, and Twin Cities Ballet. She was an assistant dance teacher throughout high school, and after graduating, continued teaching dance to children of all ages. Along with winning as a top overall soloist at numerous competitions regionally and nationally, she has won multiple top awards as a choreographer as well. Emily has been a guest choreographer at JDA Dance Studio and Madison & Co. Dance Studio in Iowa receiving several top awards and choreography awards. While performing and studying dance, she found her passion for working with children of all ages on skills and technique. Being a dance instructor isn’t simply about teaching students dances and certain movement; it is about teaching students how to be strong, confident, and well-rounded individuals inside and outside of the studio. Emily’s goal as a teacher and choreographer is to bring movement and emotion to life through dance and hope to inspire students by their own progress and talent.